Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 9

Kelly's note: Arvid and I are making plans to take David and Ryan to Taiwan at Christmas. Things aren't in place yet, but we hope it works out...


Taiwan
is way awesome. It's still in the 80's here, so it's way nice. You'll really love coming to visit here in the Winter. Hmm... I wonder if that means I'll be down here on the East Coast for a long time so that I don't run into you.

So this Transfer started today! Elder
Youd was moved out to a place called ZhongLi, and he's a Zone Leader. I really was trained by a great missionary. Elder Youd is really going to go far with his career. My new companion is Elder Lindsey. He's from Wisconson, and he's a really funny guy. This is going to be a really good transfer here in Yuli. I really hope you got my pictures! Again I'm sorry about the biking one :P

Something cool that happened this week is when we went to Fuli. (Fuli is really close to Yuli). We were walking to a member's house to meet some less-actives, and out of no where, a lady on a scooter stopped us. She looked at us, got off her scooter, handed each of us a 2-liter bottle of water and some snacks. We asked her why, and all she said was: "Yinggai de", which being interpreted means: Should be. She then took off. It's just so awesome to see the charity of the people here in Taiwan. As David always mentioned, these people don't have much, but they are so giving. Rarely would you go into someone's house and they not give you fruit or some sort of drink. What a charitable people!

Last week, Dad gave me a chapter to look up. John 14-16 is what I read about the
Holy Ghost and other things that Jesus taught. It's really cool to see the Holy Ghost's roles. The other thing I liked was in Jesus's Intercessory Prayer. He said to Sanctify us with truth, and God's word is truth. It really made me thing of how we are sanctified through truth. I'll have to think about that more and what it means for us; what we have to do be sanctified.

I'm still doing great here. I love doing work here and just helping people wherever I can. Probably one of the other most profound experiences I had this week is when a Former Investigator wants another try and stopping his addictions and coming to church and all. He set a baptismal date (my first!!) saying he will do his best to prepare for baptism. Usually when we invite people we get the following answers (from not very strong commitment to very strong): I'll try, give it a try, sure, will, deffinity will. We got the "will" from him, so we were really excited.

Anyways, I want to tell you that I know Repentance is true. It really is a change of heart, and no matter where we are spiritually, repentance can be used and make us better people. It will heal our lives and make us happier. It really is the only way to find everlasting happiness in life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 4, 2009

Notes from Scott's Mom: Elder Watson is in the Asia Area Presidency (one of the main church leaders in Asia). In a letter this week, Arvid referred to John 14, thus the comment on that.


Elder Watson's conference was yesterday and it was amazing! He gave us advice by giving us his Top 15 Tips to become an even more successful missionary. The Top 2 of those were "Writing to your family weekly" and "Shining your shoes Daily". I know I'm on the Lord's errand, so I'll work harder on representing him. I'll be a better example, and I'll work hard to help bring salvation to people. I'll be more mature and overall just represent the Lord better. Elder Watson then gave us personal interviews, and one of the best things I've learned from that is about the Atonement. There's a promise in Preach my Gospel that says that the more you understand the atonement, the more you want to help others, or something about that. Also, my patriarchal blessing told me that I should desire for a greater testimony and knowledge of the Atonement. Elder Watson told me that I shouldn't be focusing on reading all I can about the Atonement right now, but just reading Preach my Gospel's Atonement part, and then imagining myself in Gethsemane and then just thinking about the pain the Savior has to bear on my behalf. It's something I'm really going to have to work on.

I'll definitly have to read John 14! I think the scriptures and Preach my Gospel are awesome things to read now. Thanks for that!

Sooo... Some really cool things have happened this week that we really believe were divine intervention. We were in an area called Ruisui, and Elder Youd had something fly into his eye. He stopped and we decided to go back to a bathroom to get it out of his eyes. On the way back... we ran into a Former Investigator! She had 3 Baptismial dates set, but she held herself back because of the word of wisdom. We're going to try to meet with her later. But one thing Elder Youd and I are convinced... Heavenly Father sent that thing into Elder Youd's eye, so we would have to go talk to her. We also found another guy like that the next day. It was perfect timing, and it was awesome to see how the Lord puts people in missionaries' paths.

OH YEAH! This week is the end of the 1st Transfer. So now, I have 14 more Transfers. My next Preparation day is monday, so I thought I should let you know that. I still don't know if I'll be transferred or what will happen, so I'll tell you Monday.

Also, when Elder Watson came, I had a CD burned with all my pictures on it, and... I'll repent, but one of them is me biking without my handlebars. I know that's not a smart thing to do, so I'm repenting and just wanted to say sorry ahead of time.

I'm so glad to do the Lord's work. The moments I'm happiest on my mission is when I'm biking to a lesson, singing hymns, knowing I'm a missionary and I'm hopefully doing good for the people here in Taiwan. It's awesome here. This really is the Lord's work. The Holy Ghost WILL guide us if we pray for him. If we have faith that he'll guide us and show us where to go, he will. I have a firm testimony of that even thus far on my mission. I love it here in Taiwan! But I want you two to know I love you and miss you both. I hope you all stay safe while I'm gone (and hopefully after when I get off my mission). I'll pray for you both daily.

Love,
Elder Carlson

Oct. 28, 2009

So yeah, I just like telling what's going on here in Yuli. It's a great place :) It's really beautiful and language is pretty good. I've not really had too many thoughts about "ahh! I can't get this language down!". I just always remember that the Lord will provide as long as we do our best and show our faith.

Monday and yesterday, we had exchanges (where I go to Taidong and change companionships for a day) and being there really made me appreciate what I had in Yuli. The apartments in Taidong are awesome, the food is awesome too, and they have a beach. Yuli is in the mountains, really poor, rural, and not much variety of food. But Yuli has awesome missionary work. No matter where you are, you can do missionary work as long as you have faith for it. I truly believe in that, and that the Spirit will guide us where to go and what to say. After getting back from exchanges yesterday night, Elder Youd and I went out finding less-actives and former investigators, and that's where we saw miracles. I'm starting to talk more in the language and be able to testify of the gospel. Preach My Gospel teaches that the best arrow in our quiver (as missionaries) is our personal testimonies. I know that testifying of truths to our friends and other people is more productive than just saying "This gospel/our message is really important". I know the spirit will give impressions of truth to the people we teach.

So, Brother Wu has like no interest in the gospel :( He just wants to be friends. We are going to be working with Peter and Chao Family mostly though. Peter really feels like a great guy and I feel so good about him. We're meeting him again tonight (hopefully), and we'll teach him about the Book of Mormon more, or whatever he needs at the time. He's such a good guy. Oh and yesterday, we found about 2 more great families in Yuli that wouldn't mind us coming back. So I'll tell you how those go!

But as for this transfer, it's almost over. I'm on my 5th week, and after this week is my last week. This last week, Elder Watson is coming to Hualien for a Zone Conference. So, because we're in Yuli and always have to travel far places, we have District Meeting all day Monday, Zone Conference on Tuesday, Preparation Day on Wednesday, Service Day/Proselyting Day on Thursday, and Weekly Planning Session on Friday. So... That's pretty much the rest of the Transfer. If we get called in 2 Fridays, we'll know if my companion or I are being transfered. So it's exciting :)

Only Elder Youd and I went to the waterfall. It's a 40 minute bike to it and 40 minutes back. It's sooooo pretty, so we're going to take our Zone of 14 missionaries to it next preparation day. I'm excited!

It's still as awesome as ever here in Yuli :)

Love,
Elder Carlson